Media Center Setup

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dbd7, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. dbd7 macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    I'm a bit of a newb and could use some help..Looking to convert my macbook into a temporary media center with my HDTV (may upgrade to a mac mini for this purpose when they are updated next)..I have direct tv and am hoping to merge this, itunes, and online content through a single portal. Plan was to hook "cable" into the macbook through eyetv and then use Plex or something else as the portal with plugins for Hulu, etc... Is there a better approach?
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Your macbook is a doable item if the cpu has enough juice.

    EyeTV - its external usb unit and usable for OTF (over the air) shows both analogue and digital. Cable - analogue only. As cable is going digital, this could create some issues. Let's see how El Gato handles this.

    Sat TV - this is a tough one, you'll need to investigate connecting the SAT STB to your laptop or just continue using it directly attached to your HDTV. If you have TiVo, you may be able to copy the captured shows and convert them for play from your Laptop to HDTV.

    Itunes - native to OSX no problem here.

    Plex - premiere front end for MAC. Greatest challenges to date: cannot play back blu ray discs. Cannot play back some blu ray based M2TS files that are high bit rate without stuttering. Given some inherent issues with Plex, I still find it to be a great option and use it myself.

    To Consider

    Storing media - might opt for at least an external hard drive. Better would be a NAS unit.

    Creating m2ts files from your purchased blu ray discs - Sadly, best to date requires an install of Windows (XP probably wisest choice) and the purchase of AnyDVD HD, along with free TSMuxer, EAC3to and DelayCut. Most of the times, AnyDVD HD and TSmuxer is all you need to make an M2TS file with AC3 audio.

    Cables - I don't know which Macbook you have but you can sort thru the following cables:

    DVI to HDMI (video)
    Toslink (If your Mac handles it for audio)
    TC - Typical Copper (analogue audio with correct connectors)
    Adaptor from MacBook Vid out to DVI (to work with first listed)

    While the above is not complete, hopefully it provides some food for thought. I use AnyDVD etc. in XP that runs in Fusion. I handle archives of both DVD and Blu Ray.

    - Phrehdd
  3. dbd7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    Thanks for all the info. Have the basics up and running with Plex and it works great. Seems like the Eyetv/Digital cable piece will be an issue but that's less of a concern at this point..

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